A particular group is in danger of getting cancer of beta carotene.
Beta carotene is a colorant found naturally in vegetables, fruit and berries.
– This is a pro vitamin that can be converted into the essential nutrient vitamin A in the body. Carrots contribute about half of the total beta carotene intake in Norwegian diet, followed by frozen vegetables, tomatoes, fruit and berries, says Helle Margrethe Meltzer.
She is a member of the Scientific Committee on Food Safety (VKM) Nutrition, Dietetic Products, New Food and Allergy Professionals..
Brown beta carotene
In addition, beta carotene is used in several types of supplements.
It is therefore advertised that a daily dose of beta-carotene will give you a nice tan before the bikini season is in progress.
On behalf of the Food Safety Authority, the Food Safety Committee has conducted a risk assessment of beta carotene used in dietary supplements, but the results show that it is not necessarily harmless for everyone to get tan in this way.
This contains beta carotene
– Sweet Potato
– The risk assessment for VKM shows that beta carotene in dietary supplements increases the risk of lung cancer and death for smokers, “she says..
This shows the results of a major Finnish study, and the result is confirmed by a Danish study.
Increases the risk of lung cancer
Four meta-analyzes have also shown an increased risk of death in the group receiving beta carotene.
Facts about beta carotene
– Beta carotene belongs to the carotenoids group
– This is a group of fat-soluble red, yellow and orange dyes that are found naturally in some plants.
– Some of the substances can be converted into active vitamin A in the body
– Beta carotene is the most powerful precursor to vitamin A in food
– It needs 12 micrograms of beta carotene to convert it into one microgram of active vitamin A
The tarma takes up about 50 percent of all beta carotene you get through the food. To improve the recording, you may have some oil or butter over the vegetables.
– In these meta analyzes, researchers found that the risk of dying increases by six to seven percent for the groups receiving beta carotene, and the increased mortality can be explained by the findings in the Finnish study, she says.
She says that one of the causes of lung cancer risk for smokers who take beta-carotene supplements may be that the drug may have a negative pro-oxidative effect instead of a positive antioxidant effect in the cells which is found on the surface of the tissue in the lungs.
VKM believes it can not be excluded that the risk of lung cancer is also increasing in people with chronic inflammatory conditions in the lungs such as asthma and cholesterol, but by the way, the studies showed no increased risk of other types of cancer, Meltzer to.
Check for legal data
In other words, caution is required.
– Too high intake of vitamins and minerals can be harmful to health and therefore it is necessary to have upper limits for how much dietary supplements may contain per day dose, says Senior Advisor at Mattilsynet, Svanhild Vaskinnn.
These maximum limits are found on law data. no.
– There are also information about which compounds can be used as sources of vitamins and minerals. This will ensure that the compounds used in dietary supplements are healthally safe and that they are available in a form that the body can absorb, “she says..
Considering new limit
Mostly, beta carotene is used as a source of vitamin A and the maximum limit for vitamin A is, according to Washin 1500 micrograms retinol equivalents per day dose.
– Various vitamin A compounds have different vitamin A activity, and are therefore indicated in so-called retinol equivalents. The Nordic nutrient recommendations indicate that one microgram of retinol corresponds to two micrograms of beta carotene as a supplement, she says.
This means that beta carotene can be added to supplements in amounts of up to 3000 micrograms or three milligrams per day dose.
In its report, VKM proposes a tentative upper limit for total intake of added beta carotene at four milligrams per day, and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority is in the process of assessing a possible change in dietary supplements based on this assessment, she says.
Protects against cancer
As regards beta carotene from common foods, such as vegetables and fruits, VKM concludes that this does not pose any health risk.
On the contrary, these foods contribute important nutrients.
– All research shows that high intake of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of several different cancers and protects against a variety of other diseases, she says.
Both smokers and others may therefore like to eat fruit and vegetables, whether it is a nice tan or better vitamin A level that is the target.
This makes beta carotene from food
– Protects against multiple forms of cancer
– Gives you golden brown skin
– As vitamin A participates in normal fetus development, dark vision, propagation and normal cell division
p> Source: Bama
No documented health effects
In addition to making you brownier, there is little evidence that beta carotene as a dietary supplement has any particular positive effect.
At least on health.
– Claims of positive effects on health must be pre-approved. This is regulated in nutritional and health claims regulations. Several businesses have applied to receive approved claims for beta-carotene health effects, but according to the EU health records, no health claims have been approved at this time, says Vaskinn.
That is, the companies have not documented the current health effect.